Aah, New York. Home to Broadway. Home to honking taxi cabs (and apparently, now Uber drivers). And of course, home of PhotoPlus.
The newly imagined PhotoPlus took place last week. While the classes were missing, the trade show was more engaging and interesting than ever before. There were speakers and demonstrations, photowalks (see the below photos from Tracie Maglosky’s photowalk with Olympus) and even a dog portrait booth (thank you, Tamron).
Anyway, I saw a lot of great new products at PhotoPlus. Here’s what I’m most excited about.
BenQ SW321C monitor
The tech geek inside me absolutely loved BenQ’s latest offering, the SW321C, which should be out in December. This 32-inch monitor features a brand-new technology called Paper Color Sync, which is used to simulate printed results. With the click of a button, you can see exactly how your print will be displayed, based on what you choose. You can select from options like color gamut, printer model and paper type to get the most accurate preview possible.
The panel also reduces the amount of reflected light and screen glare — which I have to say was very impressive to see in-person.
This monitor also has AQCOLOR technology. This upholds the concept of “accurate reproduction,” meaning that BenQ invited color experts to meet the latest in professional color standards.
“With Paper Color Sync, based on the paper you print and printer you use to print, it will simulate the kind of feeling you would get from the actual print. It’s not reflective, because it uses a different panel material,” said Jason Lee, Product Manager, as he showed how a flashlight is completely diffused with the new monitor compared to other offerings.
With the Paper Color Sync and other features, the SW321C is truly a photographer’s dream. It has 99% Adobe RGB coverage, 100% sRGB/Rec. 709 coverage and 95% DCI-P3/Display P3 coverage. It features a 10-bit color depth panel, and also has uniformity technology meaning that every pixel has been fine-tuned for precise color and brightness. It is also included with a shading shade, so you can reduce any glare from ambient lighting. Finally, it has USB-C connections, ready to connect and charge your MacBook Pro.
Interestingly enough, it comes with a special roller to clean the screen. With the new panel, the monitor is prone to fingerprints, but the roller, the problem is quickly fixed.
Pricing and availability has not yet been announced. Stay tuned.
While I’m not typically a rangefinder fan, I can get behind Fuji’s latest entry into the space — the X-Pro3. To say it’s a little retro is an understatement — if you’ve ever used a film camera, you’ll love the little detailed touches that Fuji has added here. Things like displaying the ISO in a film box on the back of the screen, and various film simulation modes, are neat extras that will take you back to the days of old.
But with some retro also comes some pretty cool technology. While the X-Pro3 features an electronic viewfinder, it also featured a hybrid optical viewfinder, meaning you can choose your experience. And best yet — you can combine the experiences. If you’re more used to photographing with an optical viewfinder, you can select that, but have an EVF preview show in the bottom right corner of the viewfinder.
While the X-Pro3 isn’t perfect — I would love the ability for the back screen to not just flip out below the camera, but to swivel and show on the back of the camera — the X-Pro3 is pretty cool. If you’re a street photographer, or looking for that next travel camera, look no further.
Wacom MobileStudio Pro
This latest offering by Wacom basically takes their Cyntiq line and scales it down for on-the-go photographers and artists. The MobileStudio Pro is impressive, with a 16-inch version available currently, and a 13-inch version coming soon.
In my tests, the tablet was super responsive and accurate. The screen was super sharp, and pretty color accurate. The only downside for me was the Windows operating system. I can definitely see this being a great option for photographers who need a powerful system when they’re traveling, but don’t want to haul a bunch of gear with them to edit. Or as something a bit more high-end than an iPad Pro or Surface tablet.
Tether Tools Air Direct
As someone who just invested in a tethering setup, I’m kicking myself for not waiting for the Air Direct, a completely wireless tethering technology. Using USB-C and a 5GHz 802.11 AC Wi-Fi connection, the Air Direct has 5x transfer speed than typical wireless transfers from camera. It works with virtually any software from any camera manufacturer, including Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji and more.
It also works with traditional editing software like Lightroom Classic, Capture One and Smart Shooter.
In our demo with the Tether Tools team, this was quite impressive. The transfers were much quicker than I expected, and worked well with the software on hand. I’m excited to see what it’ll do in real-life situations.
I’m always on the lookout for new bags, and Hex is a great entry into the marketplace. They work directly with photographers, looking to fill their needs, and have done a great job at that. I was personally impressed with the amount of space inside their larger backpack, as well as the design of their sling packs.
“The idea is I sit with [photographers] and ask them, ‘what do you need the bag to do?’ Instead of a company just making a bag and saying ‘hey, I think this will be great for you,’ I sit there with the photographers, they say ‘alright, this is what I need, this is what I don’t.’ They say ‘this worked, this didn’t work.’ We revise it until they’re happy with it,” said Trent Valladares, co-founder.
All of the bags are water resistant, with some having additional protection provided by a rain fly. Some have extra storage like a phone pocket. There are bags for photographers who just need a camera and one lens, to those who want to haul an entire cinema camera setup with ease. They come with some pretty cool exterior designs, too — and they’re affordable.
Wandrd new camera cubes
As we reported during PhotoPlus, bag company Wandrd has developed brand-new camera cubes. At first, this might not sound super exciting, but as we received a demo from the Wandrd team, I have to say I was impressed. The customizable options inside each cube are designed beautifully, and if you want to use the camera cube as storage outside of your bag, it’ll work great for that, too.
As someone who has the original camera cube by Wandrd, I can’t wait to try out their new version for myself. It’s significantly better padded than the previous version, and its various size options will fit virtually any photographer’s changing needs. We’ve got a few samples on the way, so be sure to look for our review of these coming soon.